Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ Forcey's Stephen Ministry is our one-to-one lay caring ministry available to the congregation.
Stephen Ministry congregations equip and empower lay caregivers - called Stephen Ministers - to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting - called Care Receivers.
What is a Stephen Minister?
Stephen Ministers are laypeople—Christian men and women—trained to provide one-to-one care to people experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, relocation, or separation due to military deployment.
Stephen Ministers come from all walks of life. Their commonality? A passion for bringing Christ’s love and care to people during a time of need.
A Stephen Minister begins a caring relationship when he or she is matched with a person experiencing a life crisis. The Stephen Minister then meets with that person on a weekly basis to listen, care, encourage, and provide emotional and spiritual support. The caring relationship lasts as long as the person is in need of care.
A Stephen Minister is . . .
a child of God who walks beside a hurting person;
a caring Christian friend who really listens;
a lay person who has received 50 hours of training in how to provide distinctively Christian care.
A Stephen Minister is NOT . . .
a counselor or therapist;
a casual visitor.
What is a Care Receiver?
Care receivers are people—congregation members and attendees—who receive care from a Stephen Minister. These are people struggling through a difficult time in life—experiencing grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, lonely, in a spiritual crisis, or even looking for a caring Christian friend.
Some important guidelines for this caring relationship protect both the care receiver and the Stephen Minister:
The relationship between a Care Receiver and a Stephen Minister is confidential.
Men are matched with men; women with women.
When a care receiver’s needs exceed what a Stephen Minister can provide, the Stephen Ministry team makes a referral to an appropriate mental health professional or other community resource.